For many women, trying to break through the glass ceiling in the business role is a step too far. Trying to compete against equally ambitious males in the hope of becoming a successful business owner is hard, largely due to sexism which sadly is still in existence in the business world. Fortunately, a growing number of enterprising women have overcome the odds.
One shining example of how to jump the obstacles which life throws at them is Jean Rasbridge. As the owner of ecigarettedirect.co.uk, she has managed to build something of a business empire in a short space of time, creating jobs and showing that women can be entrepreneurial just like their male counterparts. So what is the secret to her success?
Lighting up the business world
Jean has created a product designed to help smokers quit, something which thousands of people across the UK and beyond tend to struggle with. What she did was identify a market where potential was untapped and chose a product which she felt could become popular if it worked properly and helped the consumer feel better.
Having found the product she thought would help transform her business’s fortunes, she began to market it effectively enough through the company website to try and drum up interest that way. As online retail is a growing sector, Jean managed to seize an opportunity by going online first – this helped to minimise costs and allow them to build through ecommerce before expanding.
Putting customers first
A big part of the success of her business was down to a great emphasis on customer service. As she said herself,
“When you go to every possible length to keep your customers happy, they will appreciate it, they will buy from you again and they will recommend you.”
Customer service is at the heart of every successful firm. Responding to their needs and trying to ask what they want will help turn them into loyal customers. Apart from looking after the customers, treating staff members well is seen as hugely important, especially when it comes to ensuring that they’re all happy and do the jobs they’ve been hired for.
Rewards no risk
“As you grow, you rely more and more on your staff to provide the customer service which is so essential to your business. But how can you expect them to a good job if they don’t feel valued”
added Ms Rasbridge. She believes that showing staff that they’re important and have big responsibilities can make a business become very successful.
Rewarding staff in the form of pay rises and bonuses, plus dangling the carrot of promotion can give staff further incentive to work to the best of their abilities. Also, getting the right people for the right job can work wonders in generating further income.
The next step take by Jean’s business saw them move from online to offline retail, which meant trying to crack high street retail, something which is never easy. How they have managed to do this is test the water online before gaining enough money and other resources to ensure running a few shops was viable.